Date(s) - 22/11/2019
10:00 am - 6:00 pm


Algorithms have become highly pervasive in our data-driven media landscape. By filtering relevant content on online platforms, algorithms are creating persuasive environments that systematically influence media users’ online decision-making. Subsequently, algorithms affect how online users interact and engage with the information and communication on these platforms.

With this one-day event, we want to bring researchers in this emerging and rapidly developing research field together. Little work in this field is being published, yet many studies are currently being conducted within diverse research groups. Therefore, the aim is to enable Belgian and Dutch researchers within this research field to meet each other; to share past, ongoing and future research; to stimulate a discussion about theory, methods, and interesting research ideas; to discuss grant opportunities; to explore prospects for education; and to encourage possible collaborations.

Algorithmic persuasion includes all communication in the digital world that is mediated by algorithms with the intent to persuade, whether the context is commercial, health, or political. This involves all communication that uses algorithms to tailor the set of options and the message content. It includes, personalized and tailored communication, such online behavioral advertising, personalized advertising, programmatic advertising, tailored health communication, political microtargeting, etc. Algorithms can be used in online media (e.g., social media, online advertising) and in so-called smart-devices (e.g., chatbots and voice assistants).
Research into this field could address the development and use of personalized content, the individual (psychological) effects of algorithmic-recommended content, but also our understanding of the ethical, political, and societal implications of algorithms in our data society as a whole (with potential topics such as algorithmic bias, unfair manipulation, filter bubbles, privacy issues, etc.).

Preliminary program

10:00 – 11:00              Key note speaker (to be announced later)

11:00 – 13:00              Pitches by participants (max 25 3-minute pitches)

13:00 – 14:00              Lunch

14:00 – 17:00              Roundtables with all participants*

17:00                             Drinks

*Topics to discuss during roundtables:

–        Methods: How do you research this topic? What methods do you use? What type of data do you analyze, and how do you analyze this?

–        Theory: what theories are useful, do we need new theory, can we use theories from other disciplines?

–        Research: What are useful RQs? Are there any overlapping RQs and possibilities for collaborations?

–        Grant opportunities

–        Education: is this field already part of the curriculum? In what way? How can we teach about algorithmic persuasion?

This event is organized by dr. Sophie Boerman, prof. dr. Guda van Noort, & dr. Brahim Zarouali. If you have any questions, please contact one of them.